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Mar 13, 2010

I've just finished reading Thanking the Monkey by Karen Dawn. In one of the last chapters she discusses conservationist, environmentalist, and animal rights organizations and how they at times differ in their stances on topics relating to animal welfare.

I was immensely disappointed to read that the WWF does not publicly oppose the Canadian Seal Hunt. I then visited their  website and sure enough found  their language on the issue to be neutral and insipid. I understand WWF is a conservation organization and that expanding its efforts into full force animal rights would remove funding and energy from its main mission of conservation. However, I am not talking about redirecting funds. I'm simply asking WWF to say that something humans are doing to animals is inhumane when it is. It is spineless when an organization whose mission statement includes "to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature," can't at the LEAST provide a statement of disapproval of the method of choice: clubbing the seals during commercial seal hunts which results in slow and painful deaths and which also often leads to skinning the seals alive. Am I missing something?  There is no other more humane way of doing this if they must (which is highly questionable)? This is what WWF  accepts as part of its pursuit of a future where humans are living in harmony with nature? WWF, are you going to lose such precious political or financial allegiances if you send a little "tsk tsk" to the fishermen who do this and the people/nations who condone it? If so, maybe it is those allegiances that the public and your supporters should be questioning.

I support the WWF financially every year because I appreciate the conservation work it does. But in this case, I think they have cowered and paid lip service at a time that called for more decisiveness and resolve. I am disappointed as I know other supporters of WWF are and I will be following the WWF’s continued involvement in this controversy.

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Posted: Saturday March 13, 2010, 7:04 pm
Tags: hunt seals wwf [add/edit tags]

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Ceci Blaugrane (563)
Sunday March 14, 2010, 3:36 pm
WWF is absolutely useless when it comes to protecting seals, whales and dolphins. That's why I support the Sea Sherpherd and other organizations that actually act on these animals' behalf!

Simone F. (12)
Sunday March 14, 2010, 5:24 pm
The author talked a little about Sea Shepherd too. She was comparing their activist methods to Greenpeace's. I didn't know too much about them, but I think I'll look into them some more. Thanks for your comment!

Carlo B. (15)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 5:07 am
For the reasons you out lined above, is why I don't support them any more....I stopped caring about the WWF 3 years ago.

Simone F. (12)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 6:03 pm
Carlo, I'm glad you've found other causes to support that are a better match for you. I'm learning so much about divisions between causes and for the time being I still admire WWF's conservation efforts. What kind of groups do you support now?

Karen Dawn (0)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 5:02 pm
Simone, I stumbled on your blog, and can't tell you what it means to me to know that you have picked up the information I put out, and are spreading the word, and helping to put the pressure on the environmental groups. We animal rights activists must remember that those groups save millions and millions of animal lives as they save their habitat, so we don't want to put them out of business, so to speak -- but we do need to let them know that their members care deeply about things such as a lack of a stance against the seal hunt. And do explore Sea Shepherd, and most importantly Earth Island Institute, an organization with which I have just started working, who fund Ric O'Barry's amazing work as featured in the Oscar winner documentary, The Cove.

Simone F. (12)
Saturday March 20, 2010, 12:43 pm
Karen,
What an honor to hear from you! Thank you for your response and your advice about organizations and the relationship between them. I admired the way you addressed the need for unity AND accountability in the final chapter of your book, Thanking the Monkey. I will look into Earth Island Institute. And I will continue to support the WWF....this is more of a personal note, but the main reason I support the is that my dear grandmother began supporting them in my name years ago, and I continue this gesture of hers to honor her and to help our Earth.
Cheers!
Simone

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